I wrote about my depression not too long ago and received so much support and love.  It was amazing.  I still see people around or hear from friends by email wondering how things are going.

Things are going well.  I have been off my medication since Christmas and have had a few bumps in the road but for the most part I feel good. I don't feel great, but I feel good.  I'm more emotional, which is really  a big part of my personality. I've always been emotional. I cry at movies. I cry in church. I cry when I say goodbyes.  That's me.  The hard part is when I feel like if I start to cry I won't stop, for a long time (and in times of depression that has happened). For the most part there have been days where I have a feeling that I may just burst into sobs and not stop. I have to remember that it is okay for people to see me that way and my friends and family will support me, sobbing or not sobbing.  I have some days where I feel blah and just want to take a bath and watch Vampire Diaries, but in general I still feel happy, driven and myself. I know my workouts really help and I've been trying to keep a safe distance from sugar in my diet. Steady blood sugar levels help a lot.  This almost constant Colorado sunshine is great too.

That brings me to the subject of another baby DeFord.  It looks like that will be in the works in the next little while.  I'm trying not to think too much about the hard parts (morning sickness, hugeness, giving birth, and post-pardum depression, sleep deprivation), but focus on the idea of another person coming to this family and that is what I really want.  If you know me and Willie you know that we are crazy about our kids.  Sometimes we'll sigh with relief after they go to bed and relax on the couch and in about an hr our two we find ourselves peaking in at them or cooing over facebook pictures of them.  We love them so much and have never been so happy.  To think of more of that is really exciting.

I am aware that my life is going to change.  I'm at the point now where my kids dress themselves, obey well, set the table, clean up when I ask and I can leave to go to New York for a week and they are fine with me gone, they actually love having so much dad time.  With this in mind, I got an email from the Santa Fe Photographic workshops saying they were discounting a class I wanted to attend.  I had decided not to go this year to save money but the idea of me being close to home with a little one for the next couple of years, helped me decide to make it happen.

The decision was not easy because of the money.  The bonus I got from work this year went straight into our "untouchable" savings account (after buying a few lamps to help with our horrid lighting situation in our house).  When I say "untouchable",  that mean if it goes in it doesn't come out.  That's the only way we are going to build up a nest egg, which we desperately need. So figuring out how to pay for it was the hard part.  Thanks to the support and encouragement of Willie and some answers to prayer, and extra work, it's going to happen. I'm leaving a week from Tuesday back to Santa Fe for some more instruction and inspiration.  It's a four day class on photography as fine art and includes a portfolio review and a lot of instruction that I need to help me progress. I'm driving to cut down on costs and I've never driven so far by myself in my whole life (7hrs).  With a line up of podcasts and some major caffeine, it should go great.  Stayed tuned for updates and pictures.

I've had poetry on my mind.  When Amy and Justin were visiting it was like a creative revival.  We talked so much about photography, music, quilting and writing.  My writing days seem so far behind me and part of me wants them to come back.

Poetry is a practice, kind of like photography and music. I would need to get into shape to become a poet again. I'd need to write and read.  Notice I don't say write and read more.  I seriously seldom do either.  

I thought of this poem because Wyatt was curious about my brothers that died.  This poem contains some of the few memories I have surrounding Richard's death.  I was 5 and a half. Also, the other day, Hank found a clear glass rock that I think I had in some kind of scripture study kit for the kids.  Retelling the story about the glowing stones* reminded me of my mom.  I'm so thankful I was raised in a house of faith.

*story of a prophet in the Book of Mormon who asked the Lord to touch some small stones so they would glow and provide light while they traveled in dark ships.

The White Rock in the Desert 

A roadrunner drowned in the pool that morning.
I was too young to understand
why we couldn’t swim with it,
     that long tail of brown feathers.
Mom took me for a walk instead, to look at rocks in the wash.

We crawled through a hole in the fence
behind the condos, climbed down
into the dry river bed among smooth ovals and loaves.
The desert was purple in early April.
Shrubs and rocks spread up the slope of Smoke Tree. 
When we stopped to notice rabbit pellets and gourds, 
I asked if we could really drink water from a cactus. 
The rocks in the riverbed were black with silver specks,
and gray like heavy bird eggs. 

We picked them over, hefted them through.
And quite naturally, my mom explained
that he had been very small. 
About the size of my favorite doll, Sara,
who slept in the top drawer of my dresser. 
She said he only breathed for two days, but with help.
She and my dad held him, all wrapped up,
for his final few minutes.

I spotted the reflection of a white rock. 
She picked it up and turned it over in her hand. 
It was clear and shined in the sun. 
She said we would keep it and put it on his casket
along with moss and daffodils. 
She didn’t say, but I knew the rock glowed
because it had been touched by Jesus, for us.

Years later, I sit on my parents bedroom floor
with a manila folder, pictures
of a baby taped with tubes,
a hospital band small as a hair tie,
and a paper with his hands and feet
stamped in purple ink, each one with six fingers and six toes.
My thoughts go to that desert walk, so far away,
and the rock still glowing
so far beneath the cemetery grass.

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